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Does a Computer Running Slow Harm the Environment?

Computer slowing down
Computer slowing down

Does a computer running slow harm the environment? It can, but it depends on a variety of factors. Some of the newer ones are made to consume less energy. However, upgraded software often requires more power regardless of the machine’s age.

In any case, optimizing the hard drive can keep the CPU from being overworked. As a result, optimizing can help keep the CPU from overheating. If the CPU does get overheated, this can shorten the life of the whole computer, even after replacement or repair. Then, your computer is one more to the landfill if a computer shop won't take it.

Reasons Why a Computer Slows Down

Installing too many programs on your computer doesn't help. When this happens, it can overwork your CPU and hard drive, and degrade their condition. Eventually, your computer will become so sluggish that you can hardly use it. By the way, the main reason for this is the fact that some software shares the same .dll (Dynamic Link Library) registry files.

Similarly, having too many browser windows open causes a reduction in PC efficiency. Regarding this, some people might be surprised to hear that using the Internet does affect performance of a laptop, desktop or tablet. An Internet connection takes bandwidth, and bandwidth takes memory. Many device users just assume that the Internet is separate from the computer.

Additionally, browsers actually use part of the hard drive to store temporary files, stored passwords and more. Along with feeding off the PC's RAM, this is part of the reason why doing too much multitasking online – like when people simultaneously run several apps on their computers – is not recommended. Definitely, it's not advised if a person's machine is more than a few years old.

Trying to run incompatible programs and not having enough RAM to run applications also can cause sluggish performance. Even if executing them in backward compatibility modes (i.e. running software in Windows 7 with XP configurations), the software might not run right if it’s not meant for the operating system installed on a device.

Advanced graphics such as mouse pointer shadows and screen animations can also reduce PC speed. However, the amount of CPU speed these features use doesn't add up as much as dragging or sliding contents from one place to another does.

How to Extend the Life of a PC – and Avoid a Premature Landfill Discard

Experts often recommend buying a new computer after about four to five years. However, not everyone has the means to do that. It's possible to extend the life of it beyond that. It might take a bit of investment from the user.

Here's seven ways to prolong the inevitable landfill toss:

1. Remove programs from the automatic start-up list if not essential. It's important to have Firewalls, Resident Shields, registry cleaners and system diagnostic tools start up with Windows. However, any programs not required immediate start up – say Go Daddy Workspace or Adobe Creative Cloud don't need to be listed there. The Windows Sticky Notes also doesn't need to open up automatically. It usually only takes a second to open the notes once the computer has launched.
2. Set up programs to start up one by one. There are various programs available that can accomplish this. For instance, Kim Komando recommends StartupDelayer or TopWinPro for this task. This allows a machine to slowly adjust to new algorithms required to run a combination of programs. Otherwise, they can be removed completely from the automatic launch list, and for this, we recommend Startup Boost.
3. Run fewer programs at the same time after start-up. This will result in less registry conflicts. One huge problem often occurs when a person tries to use more than one photo editor. Alternately, it frequently happens when having Microsoft Office and Open Office applications both open. DLL errors often occur when running similar programs because both programs use similar Dynamic Link Library files.
4. Streamline computer screen graphics. Switch to a lower-resolution display during times when rich color is not necessary. Furthermore, extra functions such as the stopping of animations, sliders and shadows can optimize a PC’s performance. An authorized user can find the “display” settings in the Control panel. Otherwise, they can access certain power-saving settings when pressing the battery icon on the desktop.
5. Remove unnecessary “common tasks” and other folders. Having this can diminish the functioning of a PC. Therefore, we recommend that users disable this item. It's just as easy to organize the document folders to make files easily accessible.
6. Free up some hard drive space. A disk cleanup tool can shorten the amount of time it takes to remove old files and programs no longer used. However, a person might worry that they will accidentally delete items they need. It's not a huge deal, because a person can always go to the Recycle Bin afterward and restore crucial items back to their original destination.
7. Add more memory. This is a huge issue for people who are afraid of change and don't yet want to buy a new PC. Otherwise, they just might not have the financial means right now. In many cases, a higher-grade memory card can provide the extra memory that a machine needs. Oftentimes, just a $20 investment can make a huge difference in performance.

A Bonus Tip – One Simple Rule for Planet and PC Preservation

When a person puts enough time into maintaining a computer, they can use it until the operating system becomes obsolete. In some cases, they can even extend the life of it even longer if it has the system requirements for an OS upgrade. For instance, many people who may not want to use Windows XP after April 8th will probably upgrade without buying a new machine, assuming they have a fairly new computer, or have made the appropriate hardware upgrades.

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